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ACC outlines next steps in service transformation

3 March 2016

ACC outlines next steps in service transformation

Work is underway at the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to roll out customer service initiatives following ACC Board approval and Cabinet noting of an updated business case on its transformation programme.

ACC Board Chair Dame Paula Rebstock says the transformation programme is about ensuring ACC delivers consistent, high-quality customer service.

It follows feedback from more than 5500 New Zealanders and ACC staff who wanted to see ACC being more responsive, transparent and easier to deal with.

“ACC has recently revised its target operating model to put customers – injured clients, health providers, and levy payers – at the heart of what it does,” Dame Paula says.

“In order to successfully do this, ACC requires a significant investment to ensure it can integrate its people, processes, information and technology to meet the needs of our customers.

“This will give ACC the ability to gather and analyse large volumes of data, automate transactions and provide customers with online self-service and digital channels. It will remove a lot of the manual and paper-based systems and the issues associated with them for customers and staff.”

ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering says funding for the programme is coming from ACC’s operating budget and will have no impact on levies. The whole of life cost for the programme is $456 million. The costs have reduced from the estimated $750-$950 million from the July 2014 business case.

“The budget reduction is due to technology savings following more detailed design and planning work over the last year,” Mr Pickering says.

“Rather than replacing all of ACC’s IT systems as we originally planned; we are looking at improving some existing systems and replacing others with new technology. This has reduced the overall cost and the risk to business operations while still ensuring our customers receive a much-improved level of service.

“ACC’s transformation is not just about technology – it’s about focusing on everyday service improvements. This includes the work we have been doing in investing in our people through customer experience training and having an organisational structure more closely aligned with key customer groups.”
ACC will deliver the programme in two stages over a five-year period. The first stage focuses on solutions that can be delivered in a relatively short time period. This includes service improvements for business customers (levy payers) such as simplified levy invoices.

This stage, which is underway, builds on existing momentum through simplifying systems and processes for clients and business customers, and improves integration with health provider practice management systems. At the end of this stage, the weekly compensation experience will be improved for clients, and business customers will be able to access on-line levy information through an ACC portal.

The second stage starts in early 2018. It builds on the enhanced digital access provided to all customers in the first stage and gives clients and providers the necessary tools and information to improve rehabilitation and return to work outcomes. At the end of this stage clients will be able to have further digital access, in particular to their claim information, including viewing and sharing their rehabilitation pathway. Providers will be able to adjust a client’s rehabilitation pathway based on clinical best practice, and business customers will have greater visibility of how their levy contributes to return-to-work outcomes.

Questions & Answers
1. What are the benefits of ACC’s transformation programme?

There are six key benefits for New Zealand:
· continue to improve customer trust and confidence in ACC
· improve productivity of ACC
· reduce the number of productive days lost to injury
· empower and engage ACC’s staff to deliver services more effectively
· enhance operational resilience to reduce exposure to operational failures, such as privacy breaches
· improve levy collection.

Providers will:
· be able to deal with their patients' needs, rather than spend time filling in forms and paperwork
· be better informed about the estimated rehabilitation pathway for their patients and how unique factors can impact recovery
· have a single point of contact with ACC.

Business customers will:
· have choice and control over how they pay their levies to suit their business needs. They'll also have visibility over and can plan for the likely levy amount and timing
· have a clear understanding of how their levies have been calculated and what value their levy provides within their industry
· be supported to plan for any business impacts with quick and easy access to our information.

Clients will:
· only need to provide their information to ACC once
· have certainty around their financial security during their recovery
· feel empowered and supported to manage their long-term injury needs and maintain independence in their lives.

2. What’s the focus over the next five years?

There are two key areas of focus:

a. Transforming the business customer experience
To simplify and modernise ACC’s systems and processes that support its business customers so it’s easier for them to access ACC’s services at any time, and through a channel of their choice.

More than 500,000 businesses are invoiced each year by ACC and from 1 July simplified levy invoices will be sent out. ACC will move to introduce digital services and online payments for businesses within the next year.

From July the average self-employed invoice will reduce from eight pages to two; the average small employer invoice will reduce from 10 pages to four; and the average large employer invoice will reduce from 12 pages to six.

In addition, through the new Business Industry Classification Code website, ACC has partnered with the IRD and Statistics New Zealand to make it easier for businesses and the self-employed to choose the right classification for the work they do. This ensures businesses pay the correct amount of levy without having to contact ACC.

ACC will also be improving its website for business customers and looking at using the New Zealand Business Number tool to gather the correct – and most up to date – information about new businesses. It will reduce the number of times business customers have to provide the same information to government departments or agencies.
b. Transforming the client and provider experience and outcomes
This will provide clients and providers with improved access to information and tools to enable them to achieve improved rehabilitation and return–to-work outcomes.

This will also enable ACC staff to invest more time in those customers where we can make the greatest impact on their outcomes operating within accepted privacy principles.

ACC is looking at initiatives such as instant cover decisions for clients when they visit their providers, expanding self-management to more clients, and better digital options for both clients and providers.

ACC is focusing on business customers first as it has a better idea of what changes are needed in this area, and it allows ACC to build on the existing momentum such as the simplified levy invoices.

3. What safeguards are in place?

· ACC Board approval & oversight

· Changes – IT in particular – will be staged, piloted & risks well considered

· External gateway review and built in “off ramps”

· Independent quality assurance

· Learned lessons from Novopay (ACC is following all recommendations from Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay)

· Regular reporting to ACC Minister and monitoring from agencies (including the Government Chief Information Officer and Treasury).

4. What will the transformation mean to ACC staff numbers?

ACC expects that in five years the organisation will be about the same size as it is now – around 3,300 permanent staff. ACC’s focus is on ensuring we can best serve New Zealanders and meet their needs. As such, we are committed to continuing to invest in training for our staff.


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